Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, Polish: [ˈjuzɛf tɛˈɔdɔr ˈkɔnrat kɔʐɛˈɲɔfskʲi] (listen); 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish-British writer[2][note 1] regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language.[5] Though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he came to be regarded a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature.[note 2] Conrad wrote stories and novels, many with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of what he saw as an impassive, inscrutable universe.[note 3]

Joseph Conrad
Conrad in 1904 by George Charles Beresford
BornJózef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
(1857-12-03)3 December 1857
Berdychiv, Russian Empire
Died3 August 1924(1924-08-03) (aged 66)
Bishopsbourne, Kent, England
Resting placeCanterbury Cemetery, Canterbury
Pen nameJoseph Conrad
OccupationNovelist, short-story writer, essayist
NationalityPolishBritish[1]
Period1895–1923: Modernism
GenreFiction
Notable worksAlmayer's Folly (1895)
The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' (1897)
Heart of Darkness (1899)
Lord Jim (1900)
Typhoon (1902)
Nostromo (1904)
The Secret Agent (1907)
Under Western Eyes (1911)
Spouse
Jessie George
(m. 1896)
Children2
Signature

Conrad is considered an early modernist,[note 4] though his works contain elements of 19th-century realism.[10] His narrative style and anti-heroic characters, as in Lord Jim, for example,[11] have influenced numerous authors. Many dramatic films have been adapted from, or inspired by, his works. Numerous writers and critics have commented that Conrad's fictional works, written largely in the first two decades of the 20th century, seem to have anticipated later world events.[note 5]

Writing near the peak of the British Empire, Conrad drew on the national experiences of his native Poland – during nearly all his life, parceled out among three occupying empires[17][note 6] – and on his own experiences in the French and British merchant navies, to create short stories and novels that reflect aspects of a European-dominated world – including imperialism and colonialism – and that profoundly explore the human psyche.[19] Postcolonial analysis of Conrad's work has incited considerable debate; author Chinua Achebe published an article denouncing Heart of Darkness, while other scholars such as Adam Hochschild and Peter Edgerly Firchow have disagreed with Achebe's conclusions.